Two Kinds Of People

Greetings from Upstate New York on this lovely last day of January! It is crazy cold here today, but at least the sun is shining. And even though that doesn’t seem to make much of difference, it is still a positive thing worth noting. We got a little bit of snow the other day- Wait. Did I just write a little bit? O-M-Goodness!! It was like 4 or 5 inches! Oh no, I’m turning into one of those Northerners who has to see some serious snow to think it was something crazy. It probably wouldn’t have even cancelled school. We even went on an unnecessary trip to the store on Saturday, while it was snowing! I mean still don’t care for it, but sweet father of Texas, I’m learning to live/deal with it!

In case you were wondering, and you probably were not, the father of Texas was Stephen F. Austin. But I digress…. (I love that phrase!)

Anyway.

But I did notice a couple of things this week. There are two kinds of people in this world…

Person #1: Looks out the window sees that its snowing, and starts singing the lyrics to “Winter Wonderland”.

Person #2: Looks out the window sees that its snowing, and makes this face..

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(Oh my goodness, that face! Hahaha! I swear the longer you look at it the funnier it gets!)

Person #1: The kind that is dressed like they’re on their way to a 4th of July picnic, while its January, 25 degrees and snowing outside.

Person #2: Looks at the aforementioned person like this…

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Alright winter although I still don’t like you and yes I am person #2 in both of those examples, I’m learning to push through your blahness and stand up to you with my head held high. That’s right! So bring it, I’m ready!

But bring it gently….please…and thank you…

Until next time,

The Texan

A Little Bit of Sunshine

Well it has been another rather dull winter weather week, although because highs were in the 40s for a few days all the snow, in our yard at least, melted. The remains of “Snowba the Hutt” was the last to go, and we were a little sad about it. But the good thing is, all that nasty, crusty stuff at the end of the driveway melted, and we’re (or at least I’m) quite happy about that. But then in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, the atmosphere said, “Have some freezing rain!”

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Which gave us some nice crunchy grass! And growing up near Houston, Texas, that’s about as close to snow as we would get. Given the severity of the ice, school was cancelled and my husband didn’t have to go to work! So free day off, yeah!

Now my original plan for this post was to talk how winter had been dull again, and share a recipe with you. And since the winter weather that we did get was not terribly exciting, I will take my husband’s advice and stick with my plan. The recipe I’m going to share may seem like it belongs at the summer BBQ but, its a lovely bowl of sunshine that can bring some brightness to the blah that is winter.

The recipe is for a fruit salad that is made of strawberries and mangoes, with a sweet and tart sauce made of apple cider vinegar, honey, and cinnamon. This salad is a vitamin C bomb, not to mention potassium and folic acid. This sauce has ingredients you would find in any homemade cough/cold medicine or detox tea. Its pretty awesome. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to share my method of breaking down a mango. A little “how to” if you will, and you might…haha…hmm…that may have fallen a little flat…anyway..

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When shopping for a mango, you going want to find one that has some red and has no obvious blemishes, a few imperfections are fine. Give the one you select a little squeeze, it should give a little. You want it soft with out being squishy. If all the mangoes are under ripe, just leave the one that you select on the counter for a few days and that should help.

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Cut off the top and bottom like so, you want the mango to be nice and stable when you start to cut off the peel.

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Run your knife down the side, being careful to take off the peel with out removing too much flesh.

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Try to find where the pit is, you may need to reposition your knife a couple of times, and that’s fine. Cut as close to the pit as possible to ensure that you’ll have plenty of mango for your salad. The pit in a mango is pretty flat and wide, so when you turn the mango to cut, for example, the side that is at the top of the picture you won’t get as much. You might even shave off a little pit (I have), and that’s okay too, just be mindful of that when you’re cutting the mango into chunks.

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Once you have removed the pit, your mango pieces should look something like this.

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Next cut it up into chunks, now you can make the pieces as big or as small as you would like, as long as they’re fairly similar to the size of your strawberry pieces. And there you have it, one cut up mango. Now to the recipe!

Strawberry and Mango Fruit Salad

1 container of strawberries (cut up into bite sized pieces)

1 mango (cut up into bite sized pieces)

2 tbsp (or so) of apple cider vinegar*

1 tbsp (or so) of honey

1/2 tsp (maybe) of cinnamon

Mix everything together in a bowl that can be put in the refrigerator. Give it a taste and adjust the amount of the last 3 ingredients if needed. **I honestly don’t do much measuring of seasonings in well, pretty much anything that I cook, so feel free to adjust the sauce ingredients as needed. Because it all depends on your personal taste, and how ripe your fruit is.** It’s best to let it hang out in the fridge for an hour or so, and then enjoy!

*I have never used any other kind of vinegar with this one, you could maybe substitute rice vinegar or another fruit vinegar, but I have no idea how it would turn out.

I hope that this fruit salad will bring some sunshine to your winter, I plan on making it later this week; I always do when we have breakfast for dinner. We might need it too, because I heard on the radio this morning that our area will be under a “lake effect watch”, starting this evening. Well…

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Until next time,

The Texan

 

Thoughts On Winter

This week has been rather dull, Winter excitement wise. Most of, actually all of the snow that we got last week has melted, leaving behind only the snow that fell like 6 weeks ago; which of course is nothing more than dirty, crusty piles of icy…stuff. The skies are gray, yesterday we got ice pellets and rain, you know its just blah. And I’ve figured out why Bucky was turned into the Winter Solider, because Winter sucks. Well okay it doesn’t suck, its just terribly unpleasant, and sad looking most of the time, and…yeah, yeah, it sucks. I mean when a season gives you a bunch of snow and then makes it too cold to play outside, and then melts said snow, that’s just not okay. Now I know what you may be thinking, hey now Winter isn’t all that bad, and you’re right, it’s not. There’s Christmas, and a nice fresh new year, and…soup. So I thought I would come up with a quick “Pro-Con” list about things that happen during the Winter, and Winter in general.

Pro: Watching my dog slip slide on the icy stuff in the backyard, so funny!

Con: Having frozen dog poop stuck to your patio.

Pro: Our team made it to the Playoffs!

Con: Our team got eliminated from the Playoffs via heartbreaking loss.

Pro: In January, Winter stuff starts going on sell. I got some awesome slippers at Target yesterday!

Con: I have to wear said slippers all the time or my feet will freeze.

Pro: My awesome jacket!

Con: The fact that wearing that jacket outside doesn’t make much of a difference.

Pro: Playing in the snow!

Con: Shoveling 2 feet of snow off our driveway.

Pro: Snow on the trees, so pretty!

Con: Nothing on the trees, so not pretty.

Yes, Winter does have its moments. But I’m one of those people who is really looking forward to Spring. In the mean time, Old Man Winter, this look (refer to the picture below) is for you.

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Until next time,

The Texan

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Dear Sebastian Stan,

I used your picture again, and I do apologize. Anyway, love Bucky, love you. I’m a big fan!

Regards,

The Texan

 

Here, Have Some Snow!

I mentioned in my first post that the region of New York that we moved to experiences lake effect snow, this is when cold air passes over warmer than the air lake water. Now the band for lake effect is very narrow because the wind direction has to be just right or all you’ll get is the outer edge flurries. Early last week there was talk of a lake effect event that was going to be big, it was expected to start on Wednesday. On Wednesday the winds shifted to the southeast and all we had here at our house was crazy winds and a few flurries. Thankfully though all that wind did dry up all that rain that we received on Monday and Tuesday, so no ice! Yay! People who live to the south of us got close to 2 feet of snow (crazy!), we got maybe an inch or 2. I found myself asking my husband a question I never thought I would ask, “So were’s all that snow we were supposed to get?!” Oh but it found us.

On Thursday morning at 5am we got a call from the school saying that classes had been cancelled for the day, and a few hours later the heavens opened. It snowed, and snowed, and snowed. My husband ended up having to stay at work all day because his replacement got stuck, and couldn’t make it. The snow came in waves, and after each wave our neighbor took it upon himself to plow our driveway. Again, our neighbor is awesome! And for some reason our dog was all about going outside that day. Not sure why. By the time it was said and (mostly) done, we had about 18 inches on the ground at our house, Friday night 2 more were added. Snow piles at the end of the driveway are once again quite tall and “Snowba the Hutt” is nothing more than a small hump in the backyard. I have never had that much snow at my house before. Crazy!

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There’s no road, no sidewalk, no driveways, just snow. Oh but look there’s the “Snow Plow Man”!

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This was after the third wave, see those sharp snow blower lines!

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Here’s our backyard, and “Snowba the hump”.

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I saw this interesting formation when I came home from the grocery store today, looks like a snow hand is trying to climb up our house.

As if all of that was not enough, around lunch time today it started to snow again. And I got a call from the school letting me know that all after school activities are cancelled do to weather. Which made me make this face…

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Awesome..

Until next time,

The Texan

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Dear Sebastian Stan,

Should you ever read this, I apologize for using that picture of your adorable self to enhance my post with out your permission and/or knowledge. I have stated before that don’t like to do that sort of thing, and I hope that you will excuse the fact I used your picture as if it is an exception to the rule. Should you wish to discuss this matter, I am available at your earliest convenience.

Regards,

The Texan

The Temporary Melt

You know when it gets to that time in the Winter when you feel- keyword feel, focus on that word especially if the word I am about to use, makes you angry- like Winter is literally sucking the life right out of you. Okay, maybe angry was a strong word, but I know that some people (like my husband) detest the improper usage of literally. And I felt that the word feel would maybe soften literally, just a little bit.

**sits in silence for a few moments**

So anyway, it is now that time. Thus far this winter we have seen snow, dry snow, wet snow, snow that looks like the giant confetti that they use at Times Square for New Years Eve, and snow that looks like someone just opened a bag of powdered sugar right in front of your window and its blowing in the wind. And we began wonder whether said snow ever melts. Would we have to wait until say, May for the giant piles of snow at the end of our driveway to melt? Because, for real, they were getting really tall. To answer that question, no. No we would not have to wait until May, because around Christmas time it did melt, well some of it. 006

The snow on the sidewalk melted. The snow on the driveway, even all the little icy bits from the Snow Plow Man at the end of the driveway melted. And sadly, my perfect little snow ball that put on the fence for save keeping also melted. We could even see a good part of the grass in our front yard. And then…

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…it snowed again. Not very much thankfully, but enough to need a snow shovel. Oh and I just noticed, doesn’t that lovely new snow look nice piled on top of the crusty, dirty old snow? I know right?! Although I did experience another winter first for me, during this time. I got in the car to drive somewhere, while it was snowing. Now I have driven in the snow before, well once. You see I took my daughter to school, and then it started to snow on the way back. Yeah, couldn’t really avoid it then. But this time it was already snowing! It may not seem like a big thing to some, but I was pretty proud of myself. And then..

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..all that snow melted, leaving a nice, wet, slushy mess. This is what our backyard looked like, as of about 30 minutes ago. That big pile of snow, that was once Snowba the Hutt. Now the backyard doesn’t look too bad, mainly because nobody drives on it, or near it. The parking lots and road sides, are a different story.

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This lovely slush pile is right at the end of our driveway. There is one across the street that is pretty brown, and there were several at the grocery store today that were almost black, there was so much dirt in it. Its not very ascetically pleasing.

Now I’m sure that there is more snow is on the way, in fact I know so because I’ve seen the forecast. I also know that the high is supposed to be in the teens on Friday, not to mention a low of 3. That should make all this rain we’ve been getting today nice and…frozen.

Until next time,

The Texan

I’m Still Here

Not to worry dear readers, I have not forgotten about “Winter and the Texan”. I have just been super busy with Christmas, which I’m sure you have been as well, and being elbow deep in boxes and stuff we haven’t seen in two months. This winter is far from over, and there many adventures left to be had. I look forward to all the awesomeness 2017 will bring, and wish you and yours all the best! Happy New Year!

Until next time,

The Texan

The Dog

The heavens have once again blanketed our new home with, you guessed it, more snow. Our driveway was covered with another inch or so of the powdery stuff, that once again had to be shoveled off and tossed to the side. Goodness by the time this winter is over, the snow piles along the road and beside peoples driveways will be higher than their houses. On the plus side, after two and a half months we are once again a two car family. Which means…Yay!..I’m no longer stuck at home all day with no mode a transportation! Woohoo! Unfortunately the roads are often covered in snow and/or ice of varying depths and severity, or its simply just ridiculously cold outside. Hmm..well…at least we’re getting all of our pieces put back together, slowly but surely.

Our family has been on quite a journey these past few weeks, new house, new country or back to old/original country, new school, new friends, and new routine. The excess of newness is not something I particularly care for, but I won’t get into that right now. Although it would give me the opportunity to write, but I digress, again. Anyway.. Our poor pets have been tagging along with us this whole time, being dragged from place to place. This hotel and that hotel, spending hours in their kennels in airports and on two different airplanes, before finally settling in a new house. A house that gets rather cold and there is always snow outside. So I thought I would share their experiences with you, starting with our dog.

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This is our dog, his name is Matthew. Here he is snuggling up in my husband’s robe. This was before our couches that we ordered had arrived. Fun fact! They were delivered 20 minutes before our son’s birthday party, and we had to frantically clean the dirt off the carpet, that the delivery guys had so nicely tracked in, as the first guests were getting out of their car. I know, awesome! But I digress. Oh see there, I managed to fit it in anyway.

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Matthew enjoys, well maybe not enjoys, but tolerates walking around in the snow; and thinks that straight lines are boring.

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Matthew does not enjoy, snow deep enough to touch his belly, snow chunks getting stuck to his legs, or his ID tag getting covered in snow. Now this was taken after his “before bed potty” so he was out there for maybe 90 seconds. I know, good times.

Most days one can find Matthew sleeping on the couch, probably snuggled up against a pillow, blanket, or robe that was left on the couch. That is his happy place, especially if one of us is sitting on the couch. I guess we’ll shall see how Matthew reacts to the winter as it progress. Some people told us that last winter when it was like -30 degrees outside…OMG!..their dog, who is about the same size as Matthew, just gave up and fell over while in yard one evening. They had to go out a retrieve said dog. They did say that they bought her “doggie snow boots” this year, to help her better deal with having to potty outside. Yeah…so we’re kinda hoping that doesn’t happen. But I guess we’ll see, I hear February is super fun in this neck of the woods.

Until next time,

The Texan